By Alex San Juan
The Quezon City Council has launched ‘Batas QC’, the country’s first mobile app on local ordinances in a bid to inform residents about rules and penalties on local laws and to reduce the high record of ordinance violations in the city.
“This is the first user-friendly, city-based database that everyone can easily access, and it aims to counter ordinance violations by educating residents on the penalties they will be incurring,” Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte said during the launch of the app on Tuesday.
Based from records of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) apprehended the highest number of ordinance violators at 262,847 from June to November alone.
According to Belmonte, the high number of apprehensions has led the local government to implement City Ordinance 2752-2018 mandating law enforcers to issue ordinance violation receipts (OVR) instead of jailing ordinance violators in the city.
With the OVR, the violator can pay a fine within five days at the barangay hall or Quezon City Hall for offenses such as drinking, being shirtless, and smoking in public places.
“One objective of the OVR is to mitigate the congestion in jails and detention centers, but we want to go one step further through Batas QC by helping residents know our ordinances so they will not have to violate the laws in the first place,” she said.
Through the app, Belmonte explained that residents’ lack of awareness on fines and offenses will no longer be an excuse.
The vice mayor added that aside from the city’s priority to maintain peace and order by reducing ordinance violators, “Batas QC” also aims to educate residents about ordinances concerning roads, transportation, garbage, healthcare, and other issues.
“Many of our residents bring up concerns that are already being tackled by existing ordinances, pero dahil hindi pa nila alam, hindi sila nakakasunod sa batas o nagbebenepisyo sa mga serbisyong nandiyan na,” Belmonte pointed out.
During the launch at the Quezon City Hall, Belmonte demonstrated the use of the mobile app which contains all city local laws, announcements, and search functions that categorize ordinances based on their topic.
The app, which was developed by Thinc Office Corp. is downloadable through the Google Playstore and can be used even when offline.
Copies of the ordinance are also downloadable through the app.
Meanwhile, gadgets equipped with the “Batas QC” app were turned over by the council to the QCPD, Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), and Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) too make sure that law enforcers will also have access to the application.